(Issue #39; April 1, 1998)
lovely little ones
Georgia Maureen, 1st child, born to Katrina and David.--USA
Ian Christopher, 1st child, born to Anna on November 29th.--Japan
Brandi Michelle, 1st child, born to Joan (of David and Tirzah) on December 1st.--USA
Kevin Lee, 11th child, born to Charity and Asaph Bush on December 18th.--Pakistan
Joseph Jules, 1st child, born to Sara on January 9th.--Costa Rica
Timothy Lee, 2nd child, born to Joy (22) and Andrew (22) on January 27th.--Mexico
Diego Groulx, 1st child, born to Raquel and Jonathan on January 28th.--Canada
Shane Hill, 1st child, born to Lara Hill (23) on January 31st.--USA
Shania Brooke, 2nd child, born to Celine and Andre Dane on February 2nd.--USA
Brooke Kristen Flame, 3rd child, born to Rachel (22) and Jasper (23) on February 3rd.--USA
Travis Daniel, 4th child, born to Christy (24) on February 5th.--USA
Joshua David Newheart, 5th child, born to Pauline and James on February 5th.--Canada
Kyle Anthony, 1st child, born to Rebecca on February 7th.--USA
Jeffrey Pierce, 1st child, born to Nadia Moonshine (20) and John (21) on February 15th.--Taiwan
Baby (no name given), 12th child, born to Ruth and John on February 19th.--Japan
Melisa Dion, 7th child, born to Julia and Pedro on February 19th.--USA
Baby (no name given), 6th child, born to Vicky and James on February 22nd.--Japan
Sunshine Sonrisa (20, Mexican) and one child joined January '98.--Mexico
Kamila (21, Czech), joined February '98.--Australia
Belgin (18, Romanian) joined in February '98.--Romania
Patrick (19) and Peace (19), in February '98.--PACRO
Mark and Sarah, in February '98.--PACRO
(From Jewel, VS:) We held a meeting in the Taipei area in early February to show the Moscow videos. It was great prep in the spirit for the Feast. Another meeting was held in Taichung in early March.
(From Rijeka Team:) On January 4th we held a fellowship for all the CM/FM Homes in Northern Italy, plus friends and Live Outs came also--altogether over 100 people!
(From Rijeka Team:) On February 19th we held a fellowship meeting in Rijeka for the Homes in Croatia and Slovenia. The Lord supplied a nice hotel meeting room, and our band played. We had dancing and fun!
on the net
(From Valour:) Do you struggle with a poor modem and crummy phone lines? Are you used to making a cup of tea while waiting for all the fancy graphics to appear? Do you speak Russian?--Weep no more! The new version of the Russian Family web site is for you! It's designed to load faster; we cut the graphics way down in order to facilitate getting to the meat of the Word in a quick and easy way! Pass on the address to your Russian-speaking friends, and let them partake of the Word feast!
Japanese Family Web site
The address published in Grapevine #37 is incorrect. The correct address for the Japanese Family web site is http://www.family.gr.jp.
Froggie Band Web site
There is a misprint in the address of the Froggie Band Web site in the Family Fun songbook shows 18-21. The correct address is: http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Glade/6051
(From Marc and Claire:) Bill Bainbridge has to date received 945 surveys, and is now ready to start processing them. He mentioned that he has received several very encouraging comments from his colleagues when he mentioned the high response rate he has received on the surveys.
Bill hopes to cover many different aspects of the Family in his book. He will be combining personal interviews he has conducted with different brethren with data he has received from the surveys.
legal and media
--from around Europe
>> Russia: Channel 4 in St. Petersburg broadcast the Christmas Treasure Attic on December 25th, reaching 1 million viewers. They also broadcast "The Time Is Now" EVM Christmas production.--Nat, Reina, Claire and Bowy
>> Kazakhstan: TAN TV, a local news station in Almaty with 1.2 million viewers, broadcast our videos on December 26th. On January 14th there was a short article about our work in Yuzhney Kazakhstan (circulation: 500,000), the regional newspaper for the south of the country. We took part in a youth music program on Radio Yumax in Chimkent (listeners: 100,000), where we sang songs and gave a short witness.--Peter, Esther and Jeremy
>> Ukraine: We did three TV interviews related to our distribution of aid to hospitals. These were very positive and included a witness about God's love for everyone.--Benjamin, Jonathan and Mary
>> Albania: We sang "Peace in the Midst of Storm" and read more than half of the To You-With Love tract on a 15-minute interview with Radio Tirana (listeners: 100,000), the main radio station in Albania.--Christian, Marco and Gabriel
>> Croatia: In Italy, Cronaca di Verona e del Veneto, a local newspaper (circulation: 200,000) published a full-page article on our work in Croatia on December 23rd.--Jennifer, Angela, Dust and Isaac
On December 26th, HRT 1, the main Croatian TV station (audience: 2 million), broadcast a five-minute report on a CTP show we did at an orphanage. The next day they showed a one-minute clip on prime time news. We also did a 15-minute radio interview for Radio Dubrovnik (audience: 30,000) on January 14th.--Andrew, Miracle, David and Crystal
>> Bosnia: Radio Breza played songs from the Christmas Treasures CD all throughout Christmas day, reaching 12,000 people.--Andrew, Miracle, David and Crystal
>> Hungary: Our open house was filmed by ZTV and broadcast on Christmas Eve.--Ruby, Peter and Faithy
>> France: Payes Briard, a local newspaper, published an article about our singing group on January 6th, reaching over 12,000 readers.--Samuel and Heidi
>> Kenya: A three-minute news clip was broadcast on national KTN and KBC News, featuring our Christmas CTP projects and programs with street children.--Andrew, Lily, Franz and Mary
>> United Kingdom: We gave an interview to Punch magazine, a highly respected satirical magazine.
BBC TV program - Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends: This was a look at American born-againers. He looked at three groups--a tele-evangelist, a man who witnessed via the telephone, and the Family (who he had filmed in the USA). Louis introduced The Family as a group who used to be called the Children of God and, who because of the intensity of their lifestyle used to be thought of as a cult. The Family's sample was sweet, and the message of salvation was clearly preached.
The Mag teen program: They asked for some Family teenagers to go on The Mag, a popular national program with live discussions pertaining to teenagers. We do not have any available teenagers, so we declined. It is interesting to note that the media still keeps calling on Kristina Jones (former member) to speak out against the Family even though she left the Family 13 or 14 years ago, and there have been no new teens speaking out against us.
School invitation cancelled because of Ian Hayworth: We were invited to speak at a conference to students between the ages of 16-18. Ian Hayworth would also be there to give "the other side." However, the invitation was canceled after Hayworth kicked up a big fuss with the headmaster about us speaking to the "children." Instead, the teacher came and filmed us answering the questions. They ended up canceling Hayworth's invitation too, after seeing what sort of person he is.--Gideon and Rachel
(From Christina [of Marcus]:) Marcus and I recently went on a two-week SWIFT trip to three cities in China. During part of our trip the Lord opened a door for us to stay with a 68-year-old lady--a former professor. Her husband was imprisoned for eight years and was then killed during the Cultural Revolution, so she had to look after their two children on her own while continuing to teach. She had gone through much in life, but she said she'd learned to cope with it. She has been writing a novel entitled, "Just Give Me a Little Love!" We shared with her about the Lord's love and she prayed with us to receive Him in to her heart. We were able to use her house to invite new friends to call or visit us. She said, "Next time you come to China, wherever you are, call me and I'll jump on a plane to come see you!"
Sunny has been writing a Chinese man who wrote in after reading the Somebody Loves You tract a couple of years ago. He lives in one of the cities we visited, and the Lord laid a burden on our heart to search him out. We went to the area where he lives one evening, and started looking for his house. Even though living conditions in China are improving and this man is a manager who lives in a middle-class area, it's quite primitive compared to other parts of the world.
It took us 45 minutes to find his apartment; the hallway inside the building was so dark, I was getting a little scared and had to cling to Marcus real tight! The man was out, so we left our phone number on the door. Our efforts were not in vain! As soon as we arrived back to where we were staying, we got a call from him, and he visited right away. He shared that his father was killed in the Cultural Revolution when he was nine years old. As a teen he became an acrobat and traveled with his group to different countries. One time when he was down and out, he found a copy of the Chinese Somebody Loves You tract in the basement of a Vietnamese home in England! It was just the message he needed. After contacting the Family and getting saved, he returned to China. Now he longs for Christian fellowship and for something to do for his fellow man. He enjoyed our fellowship so much that he talked with us for three hours!
While visiting some brethren in another city, we met a group of new believers. There were 20-year-olds, 40-year-olds and 70-year-olds all in one room, but age didn't make a difference. They just want to study the Bible on and on, and not stop! If you are looking for a place where you can pour out day and night, where people are hungry and receptive for the truth like you've never seen before, you'll find China a gold mine!
(From Jay [FGA], Renee  and David :) Going on the road in Vietnam can be quite expensive, as foreigners have to pay much higher prices than the locals for transport, hotels, etc. But how about bicycles? We had three invitations from some friends in the beautiful Mekong Delta in the south, and planned to visit them during the Tet holiday season. Tet is the most important holiday in Vietnam, when everybody visits each other--eating and drinking and having a lot of fun!
At the first crow of our neighbor's rooster--this particular morning we didn't mind--we were off on our bicycles. Private cars are rare here, and most people travel by motorcycle or bicycle. However, the traffic is extremely dangerous in Vietnam, so instead of going on the main road, we took an older and less-traveled one. It was a relief when, after months in the big, hot smoggy city of Saigon, we could finally see some green fields and breathe some fresh air. At first the road was nice and smooth, but after a couple of hours we hit a stretch that had once been a road, but was now full of rocks, stones, and dust that erupted into clouds. A rough and rugged road for sure, but it was still fun and we didn't really mind.
Seventy-five kilometers later and after many hours in the hot sun, we reached our first destination. From here on we were treated royally, experiencing the unique hospitality and friendliness of the Vietnamese people, especially those outside the big cities.
At our first friend's house, they took us in, fed us, and washed our clothes. (We were covered with red dust from head to foot!) That night the parents insisted we use their bed and bedroom, while they slept in a little uncomfortable corner. There was nothing we could do to persuade them otherwise. Most importantly, they all got saved! TYJ!
They did everything for us, so we almost felt embarrassed at times, and when we tried to pay for some of the meals when we ate out together, they refused and said, "It is the Vietnamese custom; you are our guests," sometimes adding with a chuckle that we could treat them when they visit us! These people didn't have an abundance to give from, but happily gave a lot of what little they had.
This went on for our entire five days, and with each friend we visited. In Vietnam, if you're a guest of honor (as they considered us to be), you must also visit their relatives, beginning with grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, etc. They give a little speech in your honor, and you have to do the same. At times we felt almost like millennial ambassadors because of the way they treated us. Many of these dear people humbly prayed to receive Jesus with us.
It was a very interesting experience for us to be the first foreigners many people had ever talked to. We visited the high school our friend graduated from, and were invited to have some talk-time with the students in their English class. They were so curious, and asked lots of questions. Later we were able to talk more in depth to one of the teachers, who got saved and is very hungry for more of our material to feed on.
One unforgettable but regular occurrence was our visit to the toilet. You probably figured you've already heard of all the possible stories of primitive toilets in third world countries. Well, I bet you haven't heard this one! First you walk through tall grass to a pond located nearby. Then you climb over the 75 cm. high side of the meter square box, situated on log stilts (cement stilts, if it's modern) putting you about 30 cm. above the water. When you squat down on the two wooden slats (one for each foot) and look between them into the water, you will soon see the dung fish circling, ready to clean up after you. I'm not joking! This is very common in the Mekong Delta! Now you've heard everything!
The people of the Mekong area are so sweet! The Vietnamese from all over the country comment on the warm hospitality you can expect when visiting these southern provinces. Here, when you make a friend, it is more like adopting each other; your families join together in a strong bond. It is a very deep thing.
Many people told us of the horrors of war they and their families had been through. In almost every house above their family altar, we could see pictures of husbands and sons who had lost their lives in the war. The survivors had to struggle through many years of extreme poverty to feed themselves and their families. Even though people fought on opposing sides during the war, it doesn't seem to matter anymore. It seems everybody just wants to rebuild their country and make a better future for their children and families.
But how about us? We were westerners. Weren't there any hard feelings after our own countrymen had committed such crimes against their people? (500,000 Vietnamese soldiers were killed in the fighting, and another four million civilians died--mainly due to American bombing in the north.) No, people really love foreigners here--especially Americans, oddly enough. There seems to be little bitterness. On this trip we gained many new friends and learned what the soul of Vietnam is really like. Friendship, generosity, caring, respectfulness and giving really characterize the people of Vietnam--a worthy mission field waiting for you!
Members-Only Web Site
The address for the members-only site has been changed! Here's the new address: http:www.familymembers.com
We've received many questions about how to log onto the Members-Only Web site. When the UserID and password comes up, in the UserID place, you type the name of that month. In the password slot, you type the password that was given in the Grapevine. For your easy reference, we'll be including in the Grapevine the Members-Only Web site address, UserID info, and the password for the month.
May UserID: May
May Password: light!newspaper
Movies Rated for Senior Teens and Up
SECOND CIVIL WAR, THE (1996)
Beau Bridges, James Coburn
Offbeat, yet thought-provoking satire on government and the media. A governor makes a political decision to close his state's borders to all immigrants, withstanding the U.S. federal government and antagonizing his immigrant journalist lover.
Movies Rated for Junior Teens and Up
PICTURE PERFECT (1997)
Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bacon
Light romantic comedy about a young woman trying to get ahead in the business world and find the perfect love. Some lessons on honesty and true love.
Movies Rated for JETTs and Up
WEDDING SINGER, THE (1998)
Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
Comedy/love story about a wedding singer who gets stood up at his own wedding. A small supporting role is played by a cross-dresser (which the Lord warns us not to indulge in, for "as a man does act, so does he become"), but otherwise the movie is sweet and funny.
PROFESSIONAL, THE (Jean Reno, Gary Oldman; 1994)
SCREAM (Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich; 1996)
The Postman (see Grapevine #36)
(Dad speaking:) This movie had some good lessons that the Family can benefit from, but it also has some very evil and unnecessary violence and killing; it's an inspiration of the Devil to treat life and human lives so lightly. Like so many atrocities today which they call ethnic cleansing, it almost sounds like something that's for the good; they put a positive spin on it when it's actually very evil and Devil-inspired! There's a lot of unnecessary killing and graphic violence in this movie which will stick with those who have sensitive hearts and spirits. Anybody that is affected by graphic violence should have the spiritual maturity and conviction and the self-discipline to avoid it, not watch it, or fast forward it.
It's a well-done movie which brought out many good lessons--the dedication and loyalty of the postmen to their duties and responsibilities. The loyalties they had to their cause, their leadership, their country, and to their president, who was even fictitious, is a good example of how we should be to the cause the Lord has given us which is based on so much more truth and light and Word. But those young, radical, new bottle postmen had childlike faith and belief and needed a cause to be dedicated to, so the Lord supplied a cause for them, and there's good lessons there.
Movies like these prepare people somewhat for the evil that is to come. We wouldn't want to make anyone fearful or apprehensive of the future, but the Antichrist is going to operate a lot like this fellow who was trying to control everybody's life, only he's going to do it a little more deceitfully, what appears to be peacefully and with legitimate reasons. In the Endtime there's going to be so many splinter groups, fringe groups, even Bible-based groups, like some of the militia, who are going to carry weapons and fight for their rights and be martyred and persecuted. So although this movie is somewhat unrealistic, nevertheless, there is some truth being preached in this, and the message is being proclaimed.
Our Family, both young and old, are going to have to realize that if they insist on having this form of entertainment, they're going to have to--if they're serious about their service for the Lord and their ministry for the Lord--learn to choose the good and eschew the evil. They've got to combat the evil influences with the Word and realize that this is one of the ways the Enemy would love to get in and deceitfully seduce and pervert the minds and hearts and spirits of their children. (End of message from Dad.)
Q: With this pregnancy I seem to be getting yeast infections very easily. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? I can't take the normal medication because of the effect on the baby. What can I do about it?
A: Yeast infections are caused by a chemical imbalance in the vagina. You have the chemicals there to make a yeast infection (and quite a few others) all the time. When the acid levels change, then you get the infection. You can't do much to stop it; some people are just more prone to getting them than others.
However, once you have a yeast infection, you can ease the pain by cleaning yourself with unsweetened yogurt (explained below). Also, you should clean your vagina only with water (never with soap, as this changes your chemical balance). When you use the bathroom, you can dip your finger into a little cup of plain yogurt and run it around inside your vagina. This, coupled with abstaining from intercourse for two weeks, should rid you of the yeast infection. Also, be sure you're getting enough rest and drinking plenty of plain water.
If you have a yeast infection on your breast and your baby is nursing, he'll probably get it, and likewise if you have one at birth. Follow the same treatment with plain yogurt: Put it in the baby's mouth, especially on the tongue and cheeks, and this should clear it up. Also use it on your breast.
There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy--and its only reward is that it's easy.
Are you going through intense and difficult battles?
--Katie (18), Mexico
I went through the most intense and difficult battles of my life during the last two years I was in the States. Words can't describe how utterly confused, desperate, lost and discouraged I felt. I felt like I was losing it, and I was so ashamed of myself. If it hadn't been for the Lord's direction in my life in showing me to move to the field and giving me the strength to go, I don't know what I would've done.
I want to encourage anyone in the States, especially those battling heavily against the attacks of the Enemy, to take the step of faith and answer His call to the mission field.
It was a real step of faith for me to come to Mexico, but I had to give the Lord one more chance before I gave up. I am so glad I did. I won't say that I don't face battles anymore, 'cause I certainly do. But now I have a peace down deep inside that I haven't felt in a long time. I once again find fulfillment in witnessing and winning souls. He's given me the gift of prophecy, and He's teaching me so much. I have by no means arrived, and I hope I'm not giving that impression. He really did bring me to the end of myself, to show me that He alone is enough.
I just wanted to say to any of you who feel lost, hopeless and discouraged: please don't give up! Jesus is so real and so near. Just give Him one more chance and take that step of faith to forsake all in the States and go to a mission field where people are dying for the words of David!--Then watch the Lord do miracles in your life. I've found such fulfillment and happiness in obeying the Lord's call to the field. I know you can find that peace too, if you're in the place where the Lord wants you and serving Him 100%!
"World of Uncertainties"
In Grapevine #37, we credited this song (on the In the House) to Nat S. However, the lyrics were written by Jonathan Harper, and the music, singing and production done by Nat S. Our apologies, Jonathan!
A four-year-old's prophecy
(From Paul and Rebecca Waters:) Before we left England 15 years ago, we met a wealthy couple after following a prophecy we received through our then four-year-old son. We asked them if we could live in their cottage, and we stayed with them for nearly three years for free. They were very Victorian and stuffy, and we never felt we got very close to them. After we moved on, we kept in touch through our newsletters.
Recently Rebecca got a chance to look them up during a short visit to England. The wife and husband were both still alive and well into their 80s. They had followed our travels to the East as missionaries, and then to the States, and over to Brazil, and they were so thrilled that Rebecca had stopped by. We were obviously important in their lives, and they treated us like long-remembered close friends. It was a testimony to Rebecca's mother and aunt, who still have some questions about our lifestyle: Here were people who gave so much to us with free housing, etc., but we, in turn, had been a blessing to them, and the Lord has used us to touch them.
(From Daniel Arrow and the Ufa Pond:) In Russia, 75% of the children who leave orphanages become prostitutes, drug dealers, or other types of criminals. The reason not many people will give them a job is because a great number of them have been wrongly diagnosed as being mentally handicapped! The institutions do this to get more money from the state or, more commonly, to give the children medication, thereby keeping them sedated and thus easier to care for.
As everyone is aware, the recent conflict in Chechnya did not go well for the Russian army. There were many wounded, and the government was not prepared for it. If you take a walk on the streets, it's not hard to find a young man who lost his legs in the war, begging for spare change. Most of these people have no future and are very bitter about life. Russia is not the place to find parking spaces reserved for the handicapped. It's a hard enough country for the physically fit--let alone the wheelchair-bound.
After working for a while with conventional CTP ministries, we started to see that it was a drop in the bucket compared to the need. Though the people appreciated the gifts of clothes and food, the next day they needed them again. While praying about it more, we came upon the idea of taking it one step further. We have gotten together enough computers to start a small school to teach these people a trade. It was no small undertaking, but thanks in large part to Phil, Izzy and Home in the US, as well as some designated gifts from other supporters, we were able to get this project going.
The idea is to have small classes and teach them the basics of computers, as there is a great need for experienced personnel in the workplace. So far the Lord has provided a classroom which we are now setting up, discounts on the rest of the computer parts needed, and someone who will help us find jobs for our graduates.--Now all we need is food to keep the projects' administrators alive! (Just kidding, though any financial help would be a BIG blessing!) This has also been a key for our friends and contacts, as it's something that they can see will have a lasting effect and will, most importantly, give these people another chance in life. If you would like to get in touch with us, our E-mail address is: email@example.com.
Driven into a ditch
(From MaryAnn, for Rose Garden Home:) We take at least two road trips each month to reach small cities with the message. This month when Peter and I, Angie (18) and Vijay (16) were on our way to a city about 14 hours away, the bus had an accident. It went off the road into a ditch, but there was a high dirt bank that caught the bus and it only tipped over to a 45-degree angle. Although it stopped with quite a crunch, no one was hurt. We crawled out the window, and got all our bags and tools out safely also. TYJ! At first I thought I would never travel by bus again, but the Lord showed us that although it is a battle and the Enemy does fight us and try to stop us--the Lord is greater. We all felt a deep desire to give people in that city the gift of salvation, and many precious souls were won on the trip.
Break during witnessing
(From Elizabeth, 20:) Faithy and I were on a road trip together, and when praying in the hotel before we went out, Faithy got a prophecy about being happy and letting Jesus shine. So we went out to start our day of witnessing. We had been witnessing all morning, but had gotten nothing out and we were getting kind of discouraged and tired. We then decided to stop everything and take some praise time. So in the middle of the sidewalk we started singing and telling the Lord what we were thankful for, etc. We were having a real good time and putting our trust in the Lord that He was going to work everything out.
After about 20 minutes of having praise time, we went back to our witnessing, knowing that with the Lord's help we were going to get something out because we took time to praise Him. As soon as we started walking into the shops, the Lord took over and touched so many people's hearts! We got out a lot of videos, and won lots of souls! It was amazing!
The $1,000 rain!
(From John and Rose, Tim and Tab:) We had just returned from a fruitful one-month road trip, and due to the influx of new personnel, we needed to open a new Home. The Lord miraculously led us to a large empty house with a garden, and the landlord came down 50% on the rent! We decided to take the house, even though we basically only had the funds to pay the first month's rent, with very little left to set up.
It seemed like an awful lot to do with a small team of four adults, three teens and four kids. We needed just about everything. We knew it was time to desperately call out to the Lord, and He began to fulfill His promise to be the faithful Husband that He is. "Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby Thou didst confirm Thine inheritance, when it was weary" (Psalm 68:9).
The "rain" began with a steady drizzle of one of our visiting relatives handing out hundred dollar bills for the first two weeks, covering all our food and household expenses while we cleaned the place and began sending out faxes to different companies and friends for our needs. We were able to repair a used refrigerator (without a freezer) for $30, which set us free from having to shop daily. Our relatives left. Then the floodgates opened.
As we had no curtains, we went out to the local cloth market, where a young merchant donated 280 meters of material (worth several thousand dollars), enough for curtains and bedspreads for the entire house! We then visited the nearby lumber market, where an old friend donated us one and a half cubic meters of wood to make bunk beds and shelves. But we didn't have the tools to make the beds. After prayer and a phone call, we were at the second largest tool importer here, with the company president himself directing us through his warehouse, offering us whatever handyman tools we wanted.
We were in dire need of a freezer. The Lord not only supplied a large freezer for us, but also an ice-cream freezer for our mother Home--full of ice cream! It continued to steadily "rain" in the following weeks, with the Lord providing: A large glass-products company donated dozens of plates, glass cups, serving bowls, etc. (enough for both homes, and also for CTPs); indoor and outdoor lamps; 20 double fluorescent light fixtures with tubes; 100 GE light bulbs; full bathroom accessories; paint for the entire house; four double desks and eight chairs for a school room; sheets; blankets; a guitar; two televisions; a stove and oven; and a water purifier were also donated! Then came the living room furniture, baby equipment, and wall-to-wall carpeting for the whole house! The more we thanked the Lord for these miracles, the more He gave us.
The house had no heating and winter was fast approaching, so we were in need of another thousand dollar outpouring. A company donated insulation for the entire house, as well as gypsum walls to cover it. Another man who owns a heating company decided to personally organize our project, and donated the boiler, engineering, and workers. He collected from his friends the needed radiators, piping, and a large storage tank for the heating fuel. But the story does not end here.
We were in need of grass for the garden, a driveway and a fence for the property. One day on outreach, we passed "by chance" a large concrete company, and the management have since agreed to lay a 25-meter-long driveway, a volley ball court, and the foundation for our wall. To top it all off, we claimed this paraphrase of the promise in Ecc.11:1. We cast our fax upon the wires, and found it after many days! The owner of our country's largest gardening company called in answer to our letter, and agreed to come to landscape our garden!
During the midst of all this, we agreed to take in a single mother with two little kids and a baby due in about a month. It was a step of faith. The day after she arrived, we received a call from Tab's father--who is about as stingy as can be--informing us of a new tax regulation in the States that was about to cost him a lot, and saying that he wanted to give the money away instead of having the government taxing him. He sent $3,000 for our home improvements push.
When it rains it pours. We want to repay our dear Husband by getting back on the wall of witnessing and bearing precious lambs for His Kingdom.
Up on that hill
(From Barz:) As I was returning to the car after a tiring morning of witnessing, I was approached by a little girl who was coming home from school. She asked me if I was one of those people who go from house to house telling people about the things of God. She invited me to her house because her father liked to hear about such things. I asked her where she lived and she said, "Oh, it's just up on that hill!" I felt like, "Oh my! I am too tired to embark on this one!" But something inside pulled me onward, so I followed nine-year-old Martha. Later she told me she needed prayer because she was going to have surgery on one of her eyes, and prayed with me right away to receive Jesus.
When we got to her modest house on top of the hill there, I met her daddy and mommy. By this time Martha already knew about the videos, and I presented "Forever Friend" to her daddy, and he bought it. Everyone was happy, and on the way back to the car I stopped by another house and sold another video and CD. Imagine if I had neglected this nine-year-old person. There would have been one less soul in the Kingdom, two less videos and one less CD out.--The Lord had used her to make my day!
Seminars for schools
(From the Delhi Service Home:) The Lord recently gave us an idea that has proven an exciting way to witness to hundreds of young people. We've been doing seminars for schools; they're loads of fun and the students love them. Using the seminar approach we've been to basically all the schools in Delhi and have witnessed to many hundreds of students.
We've made our presentation very upbeat and lively, using songs and skits that apply to the topics being discussed. For instance, we've done seminars on leadership for the senior students in the schools, and the different topics we cover are: the need for good role models and how to be one, the importance of having a goal, working in teamwork and not being a hotshot, etc. We try to keep it fast-moving, with dancing for the songs and lots of fun all along the way. These seminars usually last for 2 or 3 hours. As long as that may sound, the time flies.
When the students come into the room, we divide them into teams at random, to break up all their cliques. The teams usually have about ten members each, and we usually have around ten teams. We have made banners for the teams with different names that are qualities of leadership, such as the "Dependables," the "Entrepreneurs," the "Visionaries," etc. The teams remain the same for the entire seminar, and all the exercises we do are conducted in these teams. This way they are organized and there is no confusion during the seminar.
(Editor's note: For more details regarding the content of their seminars, please contact the Delhi Service Home via the India ABM.)
(From Ben and Meekness:) We have really grown attached to Botswana, as it has so much potential. We need people out here! This country is bearing tremendous fruit, but needs more laborers!
(From Abraham Eritrean:) I just came back from Eritrea, my native land, where I was for the last three weeks, after being away for 24 years. Eritrea is a very poor country, which the people are trying hard to rebuild after 34 years of war. The people (both Christian and Muslim) were almost using force to take the lit from my hand, and they were asking where our church is in order to attend meetings about our message.
The national language is Tigrigua, then comes English, Arabic and Italian, so I asked the Lord to give me a translator, somebody to print the lit! A student named Adis (as a child it was foretold that he would be a preacher) translated To You-With Love! from English to Tigrigua in one day. An old school mate of mine, a director of a Catholic printshop (one of the best in Asmara), corrected the translation and made copies of it for no charge.
Then came along Amanuel, who for a long time has wanted to serve the Lord, but he didn't know with which church. After he read To You-With Love, he felt peace and he said that never in his whole life had he slept so well. I met him a few more times and gave him a Treasures book. The same evening I met him again and he had the Treasures in his hand with many of his friends with him. He said he was sharing the Word with them!
(For more information, contact me via EURCRO ABM; presently in Switzerland.)
To the mother of Jeremy, Joyful and little Ryan, we have a package for you. Please contact us at e-mail: Farmer2U.
Heidi (of Esther) would like to contact Natalie of Simon and Renee. Add: P.O. Box 238 Durban 4000 South Africa. E-mail: <franz<firstname.lastname@example.org>.
To Spanish Rachel (YA) in USA. We are waiting for you in Turkey! Please contact us.--Seaview Home
Pedro (formerly Nimrod Prophet), your old friend James Higgins (e-mail: email@example.com) would love to hear from you! He fellowships with a Home (e-mail: Farmer2U) in California.
Joy (from Perm Home) please contact Timothy in Ukraine. All my messages didn't reach you. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victor H. (of Joy Harmony), Pete would like to contact you. E-mail:email@example.com. Add: Juan Carol BP 8370 Yaound, Cameroon.
Miguel and Kate are desperate to find Nichole Wilkingson. If anyone knows where she is, please write to: P.O. Box 193678 San Juan, P.R. 00919-3678. E-mail: Miguel18m@juno.com.
Kate Bauer is seeking Larissa Ross, last heard of in Brazil. Add: Kate Bauer, P.O. Box 193678 San Juan, P.R. 00919-3678. E-mail:Bowy@juno.com.
Joy (German, formerly Natalie) is looking for John and Rejoice (Daniel and Pamela, last heard of in Argentina) and Jonathan Chipmunk, last heard of in India. Add: Petra Lutgebuter, Casilla 41-0063, Lima 41, Peru. E-mail: ASfamilia@computextos.com.pe.
Spanish Juan and German Marie want to contact Swiss Ivan and Liberty in India, and Luke, Joy and Crystal, also in India. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michel (in France) would like to contact Byron and Psalm in Australia. Please contact me via EURCRO.
your views on issues
Simplify City Councils
(From Johnny, CLP:) We were able to have a good city council meeting concerning our youth ministry. After previously receiving prophecies in our individual Homes, we got together, studied the prophecies and compared notes. It was quite a testimony to see the many things which were repeated throughout the different Homes' prophecies. What a relief to see that we didn't need to do a lot of talking, but to see and generally agree on what the Lord was saying! The meeting was short and sweet, and not draining. PTL!
(From a female, YA:) In the past, the Family used to boast of having very well-mannered and well-behaved children, but often I have been in Homes where the children are mean, violent, undisciplined and impolite. I heard of a woman who had to leave a Home because the kids were so mean to her and pulled all sorts of unkind tricks on her. In my present Home, the children not only fight continually, but torture animals. They started by playing baseball with frogs, and then throwing cats against walls.
Grandpa used to say that "cleanliness is not just part of Godliness, it is Godliness." At times I am ashamed to have visitors come over, as our house is so dirty, and despite efforts for over a year to bring things up in Home councils, things have only gotten worse. The Charter gives us the right to leave, but it's taken nearly a year to fundraise. I left two other Homes for the same reason; I'm afraid I'll meet another deception. In between I visited some Homes, both CM and FM, who had a much higher standard; some Homes have such unity and are pleasant to live in.
I don't want to backslide, but I've been told that it doesn't look like I am much of a Family girl, just because I "complained" about the noise. Sometimes you want to pray or read peacefully, but there is so much racket and the children are quite impolite, always barging in your room. When I was young, we were taught to knock at doors and ask your questions respectfully. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I believe children can behave. Of course, kids are kids and they will act like children, but they don't need to be like miniature Rambos.
(From Mama:) Parents, such behavior has got to stop. We cannot allow such things in the Family. You'd better get your kids under control!--And do it now! God has given you, the parents, the authority and right to discipline, and if you're abdicating your responsibilities, watch out! You're in a very dangerous position and you're going to have all hell to pay! This is almost unbelievable!--That so many of you parents could let your kids get in such a state!
(From Nadia, SGA:) About a year ago, after praying about it, I felt led to take a course (once a week in the evenings) at the community college in order to get a certificate as a legal secretary (since I'm working in that field right now). However, once I started taking the courses and did very well in them, it became a temptation to get even more education than I'd originally planned, and maybe even go for a degree, because it seemed so simple. Also, when you are one of the better students, the teachers really encourage you to take more classes, etc., and it becomes an even greater temptation.
I've recently heard of different friends of mine getting into short courses, only to decide later to take more classes, get a full degree, etc. I just felt led to share my heart regarding my battle to keep things in proper prospective and the danger that even beginning activities like that can be if you're not really prayerful and continue to keep in mind what your original goal was or what the Lord originally led you to do. The System can be so subtle and enticing that it is important that whenever we go into System activities, that we are baptized in prayer and soaked in the Word.
(From a Home in Montreal:) It would be nice if before a Home comes into an area, they would check with the Homes in the surrounding area before provisioning or making contacts. A couple of times we've had a contact help who was later also approached by someone else coming into the area who did not know that contact was already helping the Family. I'm sure the contacts are usually glad to help, but it would be nice if the visiting teams could follow the Charter in situations like this.
(Editor's note: If you're travelling to a city where there is a CM Home, you are required by the Charter to check with the Homes in that city before conducting any outreach, including provisioning. The Charter does not require you to check with Homes in the general area if you're not going to a particular city where there is a Home; however, it would be the loving thing to do to check with Homes that are nearby before making new provisioning contacts, in order to find out whether or not the company is already helping the local Homes.)
(From Lynn:) In answer to the question about edifying computer games, here's some food for thought: Computer games are generally something you do one-on-one with the computer; you are interacting with a computer, or at most, one other person. Movies are something you do in a group, but they aren't really interactive either.
We've usually discouraged board games or card games as a "waste of time," as Dad termed them years ago, but in comparison to computer games or even watching lots of videos, card games and board games (be they Family-made or secular games) as an activity are at least things that you do together; they are interactive, and can be a medium for relaxing fellowship, conversation, interaction as a group, and getting to know one another. They let different people's personalities come out.
As an alternative to movies and computer games, games could turn out to be more edifying by comparison, if played in a loving spirit. (Besides Family-made games, some examples are: Scrabble, Boggle, Rummykub, Yam, Balderdash, Pictionary--any others?)
(From Claire, 20:) I've heard some ex-members say that they could really do without persecution, and that that was one of the reasons they left the Family. I'm sure we've all had our worries about persecution, especially some of us young people who are just starting families, etc. A good Letter that helps me when I am tempted to fear the future is "Endure Hardness," where Mama says:
"If you think that by getting out of the Family you're going to escape persecution, you're wrong. This is the Endtime, folks, and there's no way to escape the Great Tribulation that God has said is going to come upon the whole Earth! It is our destiny and our calling to be chosen to go through this time, and to be victorious in it!--The thing you have to realize is that we are not the only ones who are going to be persecuted. All Christians are going to be persecuted the whole world is going to be in distress, everyone is going to be suffering! But when we suffer, we at least know that we're suffering for righteousness' sake. So why not just face what we have to do bravely and courageously, and realize that it's an honor and privilege to be able to fight in the forefront of this battle! The Lord is training us and making us His tried-and-proven veteran soldiers, so let us rather 'glory in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon us!'" (ML #2786:26,28,34).
I'd like to tell you how I got the gift of prophecy. For many years I would only get verses or impressions. Then your testimony was published in "Mama's Surprise!" (GN #742). There was hope for me also!
Up until then I had written poems, but the Lord showed me I could start writing a book of praises in poetic prose; that is, not in rhyming verse, but poetic as far as language and style. They are always about something I have in my heart, or some experience I've had, but I receive them in a way that I would never have been able to express myself.
I recently had a different experience when writing a two-stanza poem about the sea. When I got to the second verse, suddenly it was as if somebody took over, a different spirit than whoever was inspiring the first part, and it came faster than anything I've ever gotten. It was a beautiful thing about how the ocean is so big and powerful, yet it's still humble enough to kiss our feet as we walk by the shore and liberally gives us its massive treasure of fishes, ending with the conclusion that the sea is an illustration of the Lord: so great and powerful, yet at the same time so tender and generous to us.
One of my goals for the year is to grow and become more skilled in the gift of prophecy, not just for writing, for also for guidance and to encourage and help others, and for all the manifold uses of such a gift.
--E. (adult man), South America
Thank you, Mama, for sharing your lessons on prophecy. I had always used you as an excuse for not having the gift of prophecy, so when your birthday lessons came out my excuse was gone, PTL! Now I'm learning to receive and give prophecies both privately and publicly, and it's so exciting! I can't believe I let my pride and shyness stop me from this wonderful experience all these years! If you hadn't shared your lessons, I know I would not have taken these steps. I love you and thank the Lord every day for such sweet and loving shepherds as you and Peter.
--female FGA, East
Dear Mama and Peter,
I'd like to share a little bit of what the Lord has been doing in my life the last couple of years. Before the Charter, I was an area shepherd in the East, then Europe, and finally the States. The first year after the Charter came out, I didn't care much about shepherding and sort of went on a furlough in the spirit, happy not to have to worry about others' problems, etc. This was a blessing in that it helped me to sort of get refreshed in the spirit.
However, on the way home from the bellwether meetings held in Miami in September '96, the Lord spoke to me about my lack of willingness to be a shepherd. I realized that I'd stopped having the desire to go through the battles, breakings, and sacrifices that go into making a shepherd--or a disciple for that matter.
When I returned, I shared with our Home the lessons of the meetings in a nutshell. Then the Lord led me to get prayer from my Home that I would be willing to say yes to the Lord and accept being a shepherd again. This is not to say I had stopped shepherding completely, but when the Charter came out I knew there was a new day of shepherding coming in, a change from being a strong shepherd with fingers in every pie, to being a shepherd who lets the Lord work.
Over the next two years, the Lord did many different things to bring this change about in my heart. Key factors were the Word (especially Letters like "Understanding the Spirit of the Charter" and "Prophecies on Yieldedness"), Loving Jesus, and prophecy. I think the latter has had the biggest impact. It continues to teach me to stop, get the Lord's view, and then proceed. Up till now I haven't understood the magnitude of the Lord's love, and without understanding this I couldn't begin to understand the love that the Lord has for others. Thus, in the past I have ended up making decisions and moves which haven't always projected this incredible love, especially when communicating with people.
Over the last several months, I've actually started to change, and by His grace, another child of David is a much wiser, more loving and more Spirit-led shepherd.
--male FGA, North America
Mama jewels on details & rental cars
--to staff members
Please be very prayerful and careful, making sure you get all the details and everything in the right place. Details are very important, and sometimes they can make or break something. It's easy to get impatient, as checking things is one of the hardest things to do because it takes so much time and almost seems like a waste, but it's very important. So often mistakes are made because people didn't double-check things.
If you ever have to rent a car, always be sure you check the outside of the car very carefully to see if it has any damage, dents or anything, because they tell you that it's damage-free and you have to sign a paper agreeing that it was. I heard of someone who apparently didn't check, and they had to pay $250 in damage fees. They knew that it wasn't their fault, as they saw the dents soon after renting the car, but the car rental place made them pay for it because it wasn't on their contract that the dent was already there.
giving our kids the best!
--comments from you
When the mailings arrive
We receive our mailings once a month. When they arrive, our whole Home becomes very quiet for the next couple of days. You will find everybody seriously delving into the New Wine. Since we don't have much fellowship in this part of the world, it has driven us much closer to the Lord and the Word. The children love the Word more than ever. The Grapevine and the Zine are their favorites. We don't have to force the children to read the Word; they just love it and are curious to know what is happening in the Family in the rest of the world.
--Paul, Maria, Simon and Joan, Nigeria
Learning to read
We have been using the CLE "Learning to Read" program with some of our younger children (ages 3-5). With the younger ones we did a lot of it orally, as we did not have them start the actual workbooks until after they had gone through their pre-writing exercises as well as the GAP "Writing Right" series.
The program comes with a teacher's handbook, a box of word cards, a box of phrase cards, etc., and the children are taught their basic phonics. The children have made good progress using this program, plus it really gives them a good foundation in language arts and reading--not just sight reading--which is a help later on.
It basically goes right along with the Reading Curriculum found in the CCHB2, which makes it easy to use a lot of our Family material to go along with the program. It is very easy to follow as everything is already done for you; everything you need is right at your fingertips.
Because it was rather difficult to have the children in the different age groups while viewing videos, we wound up being quite lenient. Most of the time we let the smaller ones watch alongside their older brothers and sisters (our oldest being 10). We're finding out the hard way that it doesn't pay. Our four-year-old woke up several times at night screaming in fear, probably because of something he'd seen in a video.
--Gabriel and Joan, Slovenia
Praise time enthusiasm
The other night during Family Time we were playing with the girls when Angie (3) heard an alarm go off and said, "Oh, it's Praise Time!" She grabbed the Praise Time cards and said, "Everybody take two!" She was all excited about trying out fun new ways to praise the Lord! Thank you so much to all those who work so hard on the kids' pubs! We really appreciate all the new kiddie goodies!
--Michael and Joy, USA
Word appetite grows
The kids love the Heaven's Library stories, the Zines, etc. Suddenly we've noticed that the older ones are having a hunger also for the "World Currents" and the ENDs, which we feel is a step up. They want to know what the Lord has to say about current events, and more about the Word.
--Willing and Rejoice, England
Good sources for freebies to enhance your school time are: The Ministry of Agriculture, Egg/Chicken/Beef producers, Dairy producers, Ministry of Natural Resources, etc. They have many items geared to school-age kids, some for free and some for a fee. We have only ordered the freebies, which have been good teaching tools.
--Peter and Mesha, Canada
Smaller kids' groups at get-togethers
At a recent camping fellowship we had in the Central US area, it seemed there were too many in the groups and the positive influences were a bit squelched. If there were a way to get kids together who have similar likes and dislikes, it might have more positive impact. Maybe it would help to have mini-camps with themes like witnessing and childcare, with topics like on-the-go teaching ideas, games, skits, dancing, etc.
CVC camps could include team debates, which could be media training; language camps could emphasize learning languages; survival camps and computer camps could be geared to kids with those interests, etc. It might help kids zero in on things more on the positive side. We have so many talented adults, SGAs and YAs in the Family, and we could have some real fun camp/seminar type activities. We have a wealth of teachers!
--Nadia, David and Claire, USA
Memorable Word times
Through ten devotions, we covered The Future Foretold with our four 10- to 14-year-olds. We went over every question and aspect, from science to history. We reread the Hale-Bopp tract, and studied current events. When we completed the Letter, we watched Countdown to Armageddon and had a discussion.
We're trying to make the devotions and Word time the most exciting and memorable part of the day, and to relate everything to something they can understand! With all the links, someone could get lost in the Word!
--Ben, Clarissa, Shad and Amada, USA
letters to the editor
Re: The Indian Life
Some people had the blessing of marrying nationals, and got to stay on some of the far-flung mission fields. But the Lord has a plan and design for each and every one in the Family. Although some of us North Americans got the blessing of sowing and reaping these mission fields for years, when the Letter "It's Almost Over" came out, many of the pioneers had to leave.
In our 22 years of service to the Lord in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Europe, and in most recent years North America, we've found there is a mission field wherever we are. The most important thing is to be in God's highest will at the time. It is a bit of a trial when we have dedicated many years in foreign lands and are now making our way back to the East, that brethren in the East seem to feel superior, or have the attitude that the brethren from North America are all "off," so to speak. We are all fighting the same war of the spirit. We need each other's prayers.
Coming back to North America was so contrary to what we wanted to do in the flesh, but the Lord had other plans for us. We have learned many precious lessons here, and feel we have grown just as much spiritually here because this is where the Lord wanted us to be! We hope that when we arrive back in the East in a month or two, we will be received with open arms as co-workers and not be looked down on because we came from North America.
--Celeste (of Jonathan, parents of nine), North America
Re: Law of Love
It was nice to hear the opinion of Marie (FGA, CIS) in Grapevine #35. [Her husband had been single for a number of years before their marriage, and after they got together, encouraged her to share with other needy brothers.] I think this is an active solution to promote the One Wife vision: for mates to encourage each other to share with others. I think it would help in taking care of the singles. It is one thing to share your mate, but to go the extra mile to encourage them, well, that's really commendable and the spirit of David! Also sometimes the husband is the one sharing a lot, whereas the wife is shyer--or vice versa, so it would lend to a good balance if the active mate encouraged the less active one.
This also is an area maybe the VSs or Home teamworkers could get involved in: helping to see out of love that the singles in their area or Home are "taken care of." Sometimes people are hopeless at setting themselves up with dates, being too shy or hesitant, or feeling they are not so attractive anyway. These maybe need a little help. It's not that these shepherds would always need to be the ones sharing, but they could make sure these needs are being fulfilled by someone, as they do in other areas of the Charter and Family lifestyles. It's just a matter of having the love to be your brother's or sister's keeper in this area.
Some of our Family saints!
The Love of God for us
--by Pearl, mother of nine, Thailand
Picture yourself in this fantastic and unforgettable scenario: You have nine children and you are pregnant with number 10. They were all born quite close together; their ages are 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13 and 15. Besides that, the ministries you are involved in are quite demanding of your time and attention. The sweet Daddy of this very fruitful family spends every spare moment doing what he can for the children, spending time with them and helping to care for them. I truly have never seen a more dedicated faithful daddy. Now I know and he knows that the Lord has called him to do a certain job, and he cheerfully forsakes them as often as it's necessary (although this is not at all easy for him) to do the job the Lord has called him to do, which requires him to travel much of the time.
Now let's backtrack a bit: During the majority of these pregnancies, you had extreme morning sickness, you were very weak and tired, the children's needs and the demands of your job for the Lord never go away, 24 hours a day. You are living in and helping to shepherd one of those "exceptions"--a large Service Home where the needs, questions, decisions, etc., usually last from first thing in the morning till late at night. Sometimes you feel the burden is almost too much to bear, right? Wrong! My answer to such a question is a most definite no!--And why? Because he is a super human perfect daddy and I am super human perfect mommy? Wrong again! T he reason is because sweet Italian Crystal and her sweet hubby Irish John jumped in with their whole hearts for the last nearly nine full years (and I do mean FULL) to help us with our kiddos every Family Night and every long Family Day.
Crystal, besides being a full-time teacher for many years, has cheerfully helped to take each of our last five babies to her own bedroom at night when I was sick and weak in my next pregnancy. Now, get the picture clearly here, that means number four, number five, number six, number seven, number eight. Number nine is probably moving soon, since I just recently found out that I am PG with number 10.
You probably wonder, has she ever complained?--No, not once. Did she even once make me feel bad that I was making her burden too heavy or asking too much of her?--No, not once. Crystal and John have cheerfully gone far above and beyond the call of duty, and done more than we have ever even asked them to do, to help us with our rambunctious crew. That also means they often sacrifice free nights, Christmas celebrations, Family Birthday celebrations, and other special activities that our Home has, in order to help with our children--times when most people are having some free time.
I truly have never met anyone quite like them. They are amazing people--amazing Family members! They even seem to enjoy it! The Lord told me once that they were the love of God for us, and I felt that the Lord wanted me to send this into the Grapevine so the worldwide Family could hear about them. Though they have never been VSs or CROs, though they are not on any of our Family videos, though they don't sing or play on any of our Family tapes, and though our worldwide Family doesn't know anything about them, truly they are the most dedicated and sacrificial saints I know!
I could go on and on about them, but I'd better stop here before WS takes notice of this article and gets any funny ideas about inviting them there or something, ha!
A fine family
--by Lynn Clear, Bolivia
Here is a fine dozen-person family, headed by John and Cristina, of Vancouver, Canada. Besides taking care of and schooling their 10 kids, witnessing and provisioning on the road for months on end in their little motor home, for several years they also faithfully sent monthly donations of $100 or more to missionaries on the poor mission field of Bolivia. They had never met the brethren in Bolivia, but did it by faith because God gave them the conviction that they should. They have now embarked on a journey to Mexico, where they are witnessing and living by faith. So watch for them, they are some of God's great ones!
Soliciting: Constructive Criticism!
(From Family Care:) The thanks and good comments we receive from you are always appreciated, and we are happy to be of help to you. We feel we could also benefit from receiving your opinions and suggestions on how to better the kids' pubs. We would appreciate your reactions, comments and suggestions. We really want to be able to supply you, dear Family, with what you feel is needed. Please send your input to FC, via your TRF! TYSM!
What do you like in the kids' pubs?
What in the text and artwork appeals most to the kids, and what doesn't?
What kind of stuff are the kids enjoying?
What would parents and teachers and kids like to see more of?
What Word topics would the parents like to see addressed more?
What do you feel is needed or would improve our FC pubs?
I'm wondering ...
Q: A few FMs have mentioned to me that my articles are being published in the Grapevine because I'm now a CMer. I'd like to think this is a wrong conclusion, but would like to see some kind of statement from you in the Grapevine, telling FMs and CMs alike that if they send in articles that are positive and of general interest, regardless of the color, creed or name-tag of the writer, they will be published. Do you have any statistics that can prove this?--Joh, France
A: (From the Grapevine editor:) Sorry, we don't keep stats on the CM/FM article ratio, but you are right about any article of general interest being printed, regardless of CM/FM status. We (the Grapevine girls, that is) weren't aware what your status was! Truthfully, we often cannot tell if an article is written by a CM or FM, because the e-mail messages do not include this information. We just look for content. Even if the person does note whether they are CM or FM, we have made it our policy to not highlight someone's status along with their article, unless the article by nature necessitates the readers knowing that detail. So just because articles don't bear the FM tag, that's not indicative of a CM author.
Additionally, please bear in mind that there are many reasons why your article may not be printed immediately, or even at all. We might be holding it for a few issues down the line, to use along with some others on a forum topic; there might have been other similar articles already printed on the same topic, etc., etc. Please know that we appreciate hearing from you!--CM and FM alike!
--Thinking of Leaving?
There have been a number of times when I've considered, or at least thought about leaving the Family--mainly when I was bored or felt unsatisfied and wasn't really challenged. But when I've stopped and really weighed things up, the thought is gone pretty fast. Here's a few reasons why:
I've had many friends that have left the Family, and many of their attitudes are: "Look, you can have your cake and eat it too! You can have fun out here, do your own thing, live for yourself and take it easy. Then when the time comes, you can still go to Heaven and enjoy all the same things everyone else in the Family does. Or even when the Antichrist arises, you can run back to the Family and everything will be fine. It's really a great deal!"
But when you really think about it, it's a real gyp--it's no deal at all! It's an expensive bargain, because one day they're going to wake up and be so ashamed when they stand before the Lord and give an account for their life because they didn't invest it wisely, but rather wasted it. Or when the Tribulation strikes, they may come running back, but they'll have missed out on these days of preparation and will have a lot of catching up to do. Like the foolish virgins, many of them will come back, but it will be a little too late; they won't have the oil of the Word that they need to be the Endtime witnesses that they were destined to be.
In conclusion, when I stop to ponder these things in my heart and weigh them up, the choice is easy. There's really no comparison! It's a steal of a deal! WATCH OUT FOR THOSE EXPENSIVE BARGAINS!
--Claire (20), USA
I must be an expert on this subject. I left the Family and rejoined again seven times in my first four years (77-81), but have stayed ever since. I only met one other person who had left as many times. The difference is that the last time he left he didn't rejoin. It was only the Lord's mercy that gave me a place, time and again, in the Family. My reasons for leaving were feelings of inadequacy and that I was a "Who To" case. I would think about my problems, and I would decide that the Home was better off without me. Sometimes the shepherds asked me to leave because of my problems (specifically breaking sex rules, which in those days were "no sex, unless married."). What kept me though, even in the System, was the complete conviction that the Family had the truth. "To whom shall I go? Thou alone hast the Words of eternal life."
Before joining, I had tried everything else available to me in an intensive search for truth. I got to the point of deciding it was the end for me unless I found it that day. A voice told me to go to a certain city. There I met and joined the Family that day.
One time when I was praying about rejoining, I was hitchhiking and got a lift with a father and two children. I was horrified to hear his children swearing and saying they hated him, and he was talking badly to them too. The Lord clearly spoke to me that my children could turn out like that if I didn't rejoin, and it gave me a fear of the Lord. I later found out that I was in fact pregnant at that time. This child is now happily serving the Lord in Russia.
--female adult, Madagascar
I've seen a lot of people who I've been close to leave. But I don't think it's right for the ones of us who do stay in the Family to look down on people who leave, or to look at them as outcasts and talk negatively about them; it's gossip no matter how you put it. Especially when the people who are doing the talking are not even here with their whole hearts, yet talk so badly about others.
If a person feels that they would like to try an alternative lifestyle, so they leave the Family and work and do what they want to do where it doesn't cause any problems to others, it's better than the "here for the beer" crowd, which really is sickening to a lot of people. Although we all make mistakes, I think that we should decide one way or the other, instead of causing problems to other people who have their heart here in the Family. I think it's just plain disrespect for others and we--especially us young people--should have the guts to make our decisions and not just live in the middle. Find out what you want in life and be your own person instead of mooching off other people and being a problem. Do what you want to do [leaving the Family] if that's what you really want, but do it where it won't bother others.
--Dita (17) and Nicole (15), USA
A year ago when I headed to the field, I was thinking that it would solve all my problems! Boy, was I in for a big shock! Before I went to the field I had thought about leaving the Family many times. It took a lot for me to get to the field; it meant making a choice of whether to use my money to go to public school or to the field. I thought, "Why not give the Family one last try?" So I went to the field. Once I got there, everything seemed to go wrong. Our Home consisted mostly of young people like me who weren't too experienced in the way things were run on a field.
I was tempted to return so many times during those first few months, and it seemed like something was pulling me back. After being on the field for eight months, I really didn't feel like I had what it took to be a missionary. I was also battling with some major doubts about the Family and decided that that was it for me. I was going back! I'd get a job, a driver's license, and would go to school! I stopped praying and getting prophecies, I couldn't listen to the Word or anything anyone had to say. I booked my ticket back to the States, and I told my best friend I was leaving the Family. I was fed up.
The night before I was going to leave, I was lying in bed looking forward to my upcoming trip the following day when one of the guys came downstairs to say goodnight. I don't usually talk to shepherds much, and I kind of keep to myself most of the time. But that night I asked him one of the many questions I had been struggling with. We got into talking, and it was so easy to talk to him. I ended up telling him everything--all my frustrations and questions. He stayed up till 2:00 a.m. talking to me.
The next day I read the Letter "For God's Sake, Follow God." I came to the conclusion that if I really believe that God created me and had a plan for my life, then I would follow it. If I was born into the Family, He obviously wanted me to be in the Family, and if that meant being a missionary and a fighter, I guess that was what I was going to have to try to be. From that day forward I decided that I wanted to join the Family and try to give it my all. I want to be like John Paul Jones, who shouted back at the enemy, "Hell no! We haven't even begun to fight!" I can't say I've always been like that, but at least I am trying and I want to give the Family all I've got. No matter what situation I am in, by God's grace I never want it to be said of me that I gave up.
--female (18), North Pole
Tom and Esther (SGA couple) with three kids (soon four!) going East. Need your help! Please send your donations to SK001, Slovakia. We thank you immensely!
MaryAnn (Canadian) and Hosanna (Malaysian) both joined in India and have served the Lord here for over 20 years (with nine children!) We need your help to make a visa trip! Address: Daniels, 310 Raheja Arcade, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 095 India. E-mail: email@example.com.
grapes of thankfulness
Many thanks to Boz and Ruth, Paul and kids, Tim and Vicky, Eman and Joni and kids in the U.S.! They support me faithfully, as well as give 3% of their total income to missionaries and needy situations all over!
I've been in Poland a few times, and every time the Home there has been more than helpful. If I needed a place to stay, they gave it. If I needed help buying ongoing tickets, they helped. So this is to all you guys over there: What you did really meant a lot to me and I really appreciate it. You were a sample to me of what a real Family Home should be like. I love you all!
--Kate (18), Venezuela
Big, big and hot African Eyalo! (thank you in Oshiwambo tribe language) to Philip at the Hungarian PPC. You are doing a fantastic job! Keep it up!
--Philip and Meekness, Africa
trusting for finances
--thoughts from a fundraiser, outreach teamworkers, and a Family businessman
Going on fundraising road trips for a long time can be pretty tiring, but recently the Lord's been showing me some things that have helped encourage me when fundraising:
1. The Lord will really bless those that give, and we're giving them a chance to receive the Lord's help! Once when I was asking someone for help, we were talking about how difficult the world situation is, and he said, "Well, the world can't be too bad when there are two girls going around asking for support for their work with children." It showed me that for those who believe in our work, it actually encourages them when we present our requests.
2. The Lord teaches us so much during fundraising; sometimes when it's going tough, it's just because there are some lessons we can learn from the situation that are much more valuable than our "success" would be.
3. Fundraising provides good situations to put the New Wine into practice. You see such literal fulfillment of the Lord's promises, and it makes such a big difference in your day if you've listened to the Lord.
--Jasmine (YA), Russia
This month we were not able to send out many outreach teams and, as the outreach teamworker, when a couple in the Home asked if they could spend the day working on their mail ministry instead of helping on outreach, my natural reaction was that maybe just one of them could do it, as we really needed to send teams out. But the Lord had something else in mind. He gave me two verses which gave me the peace to let them both work on their mail ministry: "By their fruits ye shall know them," and "My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mt.7:20; 11:30).
The day I trusted the Lord for finances, this couple received several donations through special gifts. And as a Home we got in more special gifts than we usually do. So that fulfilled the verse, "By their fruits ye shall know them." The Lord was showing me that you don't have to be out there all the time to raise funds; He can use different means.
The next day this same couple received another good donation through a Bible study they went to, and the day after, received another unexpected donation in the mail. Not only did the Lord bless our finances, but He also fulfilled the verse, "My yoke is easy ," as the couple didn't have to feel burdened about their mail ministry. The Lord kept pouring it on, and in one week He supplied almost our entire budget for the month!
Since I have been involved more closely with the System than many others in the Family, I believe I have a perspective that perhaps others do not have. I have worked closely with the very rich and with poor workers. We may think we have problems, but I want to bring out here that the System is much, much worse off than we in the Family--in every respect!
For example, finances: Perhaps some Family members look at some folks in the System and are tempted to envy their lifestyle and the so-called easier life. But if you look a little deeper than outward appearances, you begin to see that these people are in debt up to their ears, and will never in this life be able to be debt-free again. Their credit cards, mortgage on their house, loan from the bank to buy their car, and their day-to-day obligations such as telephone bills, electricity bills, water bills, sewage bills, gas bills, office expenses, fuel bills, maintenance bills, insurance bills, and the huge sums of money it takes to send each of their children--no matter what age--to either public or private schools (clothes, books, food, transportation, tuition, etc.) make them actual slaves to their job and the System.
They have to keep their job at any cost, because without a job they fall so far behind in their bills that they risk foreclosure, bankruptcy, and people suing them for the money they owe. They have financial pressure that most of us in the Family cannot even understand! Nearly everyone in the Family is completely debt-free.
But finances are only the tip of the iceberg--a fraction of all the problems that they have! Finances are a small thing when you begin to look at the state of their individual family. Their children go to ungodly schools, and they have the constant worry of their kids being exposed to drugs, alcohol, getting in with the "wrong crowd." Often the kids have no sense of direction, and the parents have little or no idea of how to help them! Many have to deal with frequent visits to the doctor that do not solve anything. All it takes is one serious operation to put them in debt to the doctor or hospital for life, unless they have paid an arm and a leg for insurance all their life! The vast majority live with fear, bitterness and loneliness to such a degree as we have never had to deal with!
I truly believe that we in the Family are light years ahead of anyone in the System, as far as being truly happy, fulfilled and secure, knowing the truth, and that we are really doing something for God. And God rewards us daily, heaping many benefits upon us that we often do not even realize.
--Titus (of Charity), USA
Every month we have to really stay on the attack, but the Lord has always brought in the funds to keep things running. Then this month one of the couples in our Home felt led to go to another Home. I started having real battles about how our Home would raise the finances without one of our outreach teams on the field every day. It became a major worry that was affecting me negatively. We invited another person to our Home who was a good witnesser, but they didn't feel led to come. To me, the situation looked very bleak.
Finally I was in a very bad state. I was so upset at myself that after 20 years in the Family--the Lord having never failed us--I was still lacking in faith for His supply. I saw how much my faith was hinging on conditions such as getting out videos, my husband's faith, special gifts, etc. I started thinking about the many single sisters who have faith for the Lord to care for them each month, and so many Homes who don't have strong outreach people, but they still keep going for Jesus and He never fails them.
I realized how much of my supposed faith was a works trip. I needed to acknowledge the Lord more in my life, and realize that when He supplies it is only Him--not our outreach person, or our newsletter appeal, but only Him and His mercy. It made me realize more clearly how His supply depends on our faithfulness to pray and praise and follow Him closely. This month we did have one less outreach team on the field, but the Lord wonderfully supplied our full budget. TYJ! As we go into the Endtime I feel the Lord wants to teach us this important lesson of leaning only on Him!
--MaryAnn (of Hosanna), India
ideas and tips
Shows pay off
For those who have puppet shows or any other show: Contacting public schools and offering them the show in exchange for a set fee is a help to the work. It can generate regular income, as there is a great need in the schools.
--Francisco, Margarita and Esdras, Mexico
Home TW suggestion
When the Lord lays it on your heart to pray for someone and get something from Him for them, it gives it an extra special touch when you print or write out the Lord's Words for them on some nice paper, so that they can hang it by their bed or keep it handy to study in the future. We've done that for a couple of members in our Home, and they've really appreciated it.
--Marc, Claire, Julie and Charity, USA
Love Lines #2 Available
(From the Grapevine editors:) You'll be happy to know that our second edition of Love Lines has been compiled.--Thanks to those of you who sent in ads! We have already sent each participating member a copy of Love Lines #2 (via e-mail or snail mail, as per the address you sent in), as well as to those who specifically requested a copy. If you requested a copy via e-mail, you should have received it by now. If you haven't, please send us an e-mail, requesting a resend. Three or four of the e-mail addresses we were given say they have been changed or no longer exist! If you sent a postal address, and you don't receive your Love Lines issue within the next two-three weeks, please also resend your request. It's most helpful if you can send an e-mail address, or ask if you can borrow the e-mail address of your neighboring Home.
All those who send in ads are automatically put on the Love Lines mailing list, so if you submitted an ad for publishing in the Love Lines bulletin and do not receive a copy of the Love Lines listing for those of the opposite sex, please be sure to resend your ad contribution. We may have missed receiving your message somehow!
(From NACRO:) Please unite with us in prayer for a court case that is coming up in San Diego, involving a 16-year-old who is bringing false accusations against her flesh and adoptive parents. This case is rather weighty, and if not resolved, could cause not only the individuals involved, but also the overall Family, problems in the future. The first civil hearing will determine if the teen should be returned to her parents or become a ward of the State. If the 16-year-old becomes a ward of the State, then the District Attorney will move on to making it a criminal case.
We're praying that the Lord will work in the situation to head off the upcoming hearing, and we would appreciate your prayers that the Lord will work in the heart of the judge to rule in our favor, that the evidence from impartial academics and experts will be admitted in court, and that the Lord will confound and expose our enemies who are involved in the case. Thank you so much for your prayers for this case and the brethren involved!
tip of the day
Turning AutoPlay Into AutoDon't
Most versions of Windows 95 include a nifty feature called AutoPlay. When you insert a CD into the CD drive, Windows automatically plays music CDs or loads a data disk's install program. Most of the time, that's just what you want. But what if you just want to explore the CD for a specific file? Then AutoPlay can be a pain in the neck.
Here's how you can stop those annoying auto-loads: Open the CD drive drawer and insert the disk. Before closing the drawer, hold down the Shift key. Close the drawer while you hold down the Shift key. You can restart the CD AutoPlay feature at any time by reopening and closing the drive door of the CD player, without holding the Shift key.
The Future Foretold Glimpses of Heaven
--reactions from you!
The two booklets from Family Care Foundation are great! They are attractive and eye-catching.--And the contents are even better! Who wouldn't want to go to Heaven after reading "Glimpses of Heaven?" And who could say the Bible is not written by divine inspiration when reading about prophecies coming to pass today in "The Future Foretold?"
--Lily (of Peter), France
The format is excellent and will make it very easy to distribute them. People can really relate to the message in them.
--Willing and Rejoice, England
Just the other morning we got a phone call from the States telling us that Andrew's younger brother had died. He was only 38 years old and had been playing volleyball when he just collapsed and couldn't be revived! We sent an e-mail to the Home in their city, and asked them to send them a copy of Glimpses of Heaven, along with a letter of condolence from us. TTL for this booklet, because we had something ready to be a witness to Andrew's relatives!
--Andrew and Miracle, Croatia
FANTASTIC! I'm amazed at how the Lord is pouring out these GP booklets, tapes, Treasure Attics and FTTs! What a year of wealth and blessings and outpouring! TYJ!
--Martin, Nina, Sebastian and Esther, Italy
The new Future Foretold booklet is great! In our area, which is a Muslim country, the Endtime is our major witnessing topic. We have found that around 50% of the people believe that we are in the Endtime, though maybe not as close as we tell them. This pub is the answer to our prayers and will be a big boon in our Endtime witnessing, along with the Countdown to Armageddon video.
--Stevie (of Ruthie), Pakistan
It helps bring the Endtime vision up to date. They got me to dust off my Bible and start teaching our older children Endtime classes.
--Michael, Michelle and Nadya, Finland
Ad Writing--Hot Tip
Your handwriting is unique--it's an expression of you. However, when you send an ad to the Grapevine, it would be better to save the expression and clearly PRINT your name and return address. We want to get it right. Thanks!
SOUL SHINERS FOR FEBRUARY '98
Madras Deaf Home, India
Timothy F/Rejoice E/Dove, USA
Josue/Maria Fiel, Mexico
Joy/Isaac/Ruth M/Juan, Mexico
POSTER SHINERS FOR FEBRUARY '98
Peter/Crystal Servant, USA
Timothy F/Rejoice E/Dove, USA
Cid Larson/Serena Spring, Mexico
Francis Mountain/Joanna Rose, USA
TAPE SHINERS FOR FEBRUARY '98
Peace B. Still, USA
Josue Siervo/Luz Siervo, Mexico
VIDEO SHINERS FOR FEBRUARY '98
Bill/Mary Ann/Mercy Faith, USA
Esperanza Fiel/Tim, USA
other files included in this issue:
peanuts 'n' raisins comic (the credit for this is:--Courtesy of Stefan and Joy, Pakistan. [Roshan, age 4])
Roshan: You know that man that had a mustache?
Mother: What did you say, a mustache?
Roshan: Yes, you know, that beard in the shape of a frown!
new dayz comic
A teamwork somewhere:
Caption 1: We've just found out who's causing the disunity in our teamwork.
Caption 2: Oops!
Caption 3: I haven't been so easy to work with
Caption 4: Oh no!! It's mostly my fault
Caption 5: Your fault?!! You guys are saints!!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family